Krzysztof Baran from St. Mary’s College recently took part in the final of Gael Linn’s prestigious ‘Abair’ Irish public speaking competition, which was this year held at Navan Fort in Armagh. Krzysztof qualified for the final having previously qualified from the regional bout in Dundalk. Speakers from across the nine counties of Ulster and Co. Louth compete in the annual cross-border competition.
Competitors on the day had to speak about a topical issue as Gaeilge for three minutes each. In the final Krzysztof spoke about his chosen topic of Daoine Gan Dídean / Homelessness, where he discussed the extent and severity of the problem throughout Ireland today. He was delighted to achieve second place in the Junior Certificate Section and received high commendation from the judges. He was awarded a trophy, an electronics voucher and a half scholarship to attend Coláiste Gael Linn Bhun an Inbhir Gaeltacht College in Donegal to recognise his success. Comhghairdeas mór leis!
Easter was an exciting time at St Mary’s College as a group of students, under the guidance of Mr. Murphy, Mr Lally and Mr Hegarty embarked on what was destined to be an experience of a life-time.
Setting out from Dundalk their journey firstly took them to the Glasgow Science Centre where students enjoyed interactive exhibitions and workshops. They then made the short journey to Celtic Park, or what their supporters fondly call ‘Paradise’. What followed was an action-packed game in which the newly crowned champions defeated local rivals Kilmarnock in an unbelievable atmosphere.
Sunday witnessed the group participate in a competitive game of ten – pin bowling and some shopping but the trip was capped off with a personal guided tour of Celtic Park and St Mary’s Church Hall, the spot were Celtic FC were founded. Students were treated to a visit to the first team dressing room and followed onto the pitch in the footsteps of their heroes.
It was a poignant moment for the Marist students as they learned of how Brother Walfrid, a Marist Brother from Sligo, established the club in order to feed the starving Irish immigrants in the east end of Glasgow. The strong Marist connection and ethos of Celtic was undoubtedly felt by the young group who left determined that this trip would be on an annual basis.
ASPIRE Academy recently hosted a one-day programme during the Easter holidays for Transition Year and 5th year students at St. Mary’s College in Dundalk.
ASPIRE deliver specialised programmes for both teenagers and parents of young children to support the development of essential key skills for building lives that flourish.
ASPIRE Teen Academy is an active and engaging 5 day programme for teenagers aged 14-17, designed to further enhance:
Communication Skills & Creative Expression
Self-confidence, Mindfulness & Well-being
Study Skills & Future Ambitions
Students learn and put into practice the practical life skills they will use each day to make their own successes. They become confident that they can work to attain whatever goal they set their sights on whilst maintaining a strong sense of personal well-being. They begin to lay the foundations for building the life of their dreams.
In St. Mary’s College, on Thursday the 13th of April, ASPIRE focused their one-day programme on the areas of spontaneous creativity, strategies to support and strengthen voice for public speaking, developing presence and confidence for interpersonal communication, cultivating mindfulness practice for student well-being, improving study skills and exploring future ambitions.
When asked about their experiences, some of the students’ responses were:
I really enjoyed the mindfulness and well-being because it was nice to connect with your inner-self.
It was fun and helped me up my confidence for speaking.
The activities at the start were quite challenging for me because it was a bit out of my comfort zone to just jump in, but after I got stuck in, it was brilliant.
I really enjoyed how relaxed the activities were throughout the day. The mindfulness section was the most interesting part for me, learning how to realise my thoughts and stay in the moment was really helpful.
ASPIRE are launching their 5 Day Summer Teen Academy in both Dundalk and Dublin this summer.
Information Meetings: Venues and Dates
Dundalk: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Thursday, 4th May, 7 pm – 9pm.
Dublin: Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Saturday, 6th May, 11 am – 1 pm.
Teen Academy Programmes: Venues and Dates.
Dundalk: Creative Spark, 10th July – 14th July
Dublin: Trinity College Dublin, 31st July – 4th August
ASPIRE will also present workshops in June and July for parents of young children in the areas of positive social and emotional behaviour and language and communication development.
Students and teachers of St. Mary’s College were delighted to be awarded First Place in the Dundalk St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year. Our float based on the theme of “The Vikings” hugely impressed the judges and was awarded overall First Place. This recognition is testament to the hard work, dedication and creativity of all the students involved, and to the Art and Technology teachers who assisted them. Maith sibh!